Archdiocese of Baltimore
The late Peter Drucker, who invented the art of management, said that results exist outside—not inside—a business or organization. When Matera & Co. took on a year-long project to develop a new digital platform for the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, Drucker’s maxim was the guiding principle.
In consultation with Sean Caine, Director of Communications, and John Romanowsky, Director of Evangelization, Matera & Co. created a new paradigm for diocesan websites. Content would be presented within an outward-facing structure, reflecting constituent interests and needs, like a magazine or content portal. Diocesan websites at the time were almost completely inward-focused, functioning as digital versions of staff directories.
The key strategic decision was to integrate the digital presence of The Catholic Review, the diocese’s monthly publication, into the new platform. The magazine’s editors were given responsibility for managing the new platform’s content, especially news and features on the front page. With this new approach, the Church’s constituents would have a reason to visit the website regularly, to keep up with the latest news and events. The magazine would have an enhanced role in content marketing for Church ministries.
On the marketing side, Matera & Co. proposed an ambitious plan to personalize the entire constituent experience, based on various personas – seeker, parishioner, event attendee, donor, and more.
Established nonprofit organizations are notoriously resistant to change. Catholic Church structures are an even tougher case. Despite public perception, the Catholic Church doesn’t operate by command control. Collegiality rules. That makes change slow. Many elements of the technology and marketing plan have yet to be implemented. But the new digital platform, based on a modern, flexible CMS, will make it easier to implement innovations in the future.